Edible plants that I'd like to know more about

This is a living list, growing as I add to it.

last updated
30 May 2008
27 May 2008
3 April 2008

I wrote a different list earlier, which I completely forgot about when I first wrote this blog post. It was only after a week or so that I remembered. It's interesting that I have some duplicates and encouraging that even though I'd forgotten about the old list, I've tried to grow or eat several of the plants on it.

Celeriac (Celery root) - Winter vegetable, not a starch, long growing season (112 days), not _actually_ the root of grocery store celery but you can use the upper parts of the plant like a drinking straw. Bloody Mary with a "celery" straw, anyone?

Orach - like spinach but better? A Thinking Stomach says it grows great in Pasadena and keeps its flavor even when it bolts.

M√Ęche - bolts easily but grows quickly so you can always have it in your line up.

Fukushu kumquats - Old variety from Japan. Supposed to be better than Meiwa variety commonly available.

Sorrel - leafy green perennial, salad seasoning, fish sauce, puree in soups, etc

Sunchoke Helianthus Tuberosus (Sunchoke is a new name. They were formerly known widely as Jerusalem Artichokes) - native N. American plant in the sunflower family. November to March harvest of the root (not the flower).

Lovage - This is on the old list, and I'm trying to start it from seed right now. 27 May - failed completely to start this from seed.

Artichoke - The Press-Telegram had a 5/19/08 article on artichokes. "`Imperial Star,' a variety developed by the University of California a dozen years ago, is widely acknowledged as the best artichoke for California growing. ...There is ample evidence that artichokes grown from seed have stronger heat resistance than those clonally propagated by division. If you planted `Imperial Star' from seed at this time of year, you would begin to see fruit in late fall, once the plant had been exposed to 500 hours of temperatures below 50 degrees...Letting the plant flower, however, saps its vigor and shortens its productive life....Artichokes prefer a soil amended with compost and will accept asparagus, lettuce, summer savory and parsley as companions in the same garden bed....None of these edibles will abide standing water, yet none of them will grow effectively when water-deprived. Two good weekly soakings should keep plants happy once they are well-rooted but they may be watered more often as long as soil drainage is good. An application of mulch is advisable to extend watering intervals....Once you complete your artichoke harvest in early spring, immediately cut your plants all the way down to the ground. Provide an ample supply of nitrogen fertilizer and watch as they begin to grow again. You can order `Imperial Star' artichoke seeds from Territorial Seeds at (800) 626-0866 or www.territorialseed.com; or from Park Seeds at (800) 213-0076 or www.parkseed.com.


  1. I'm always interested in unfamiliar vegetables. I've never had any of these, but my corner store sells celeriac. It's hideous.

  2. I used Celery root and spinach in a pureed soup the other day. It was delicious.

    That was the first time I'd used Celeriac.